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Old Sep 25, 2007, 01:30 AM   #1
Moo-Boo
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Al iMac 2GHz vs Al iMac 2.4GHz...which is better value?

My dear Mac kids,

A simple but contentious question...in the next couple of weeks, I will be purchasing a new 20" iMac...but whether it will be 2GHz or 2.4GHz, I don't know. I need to know which is the better value. I know the 2.4GHz has the faster processor (obviously), bigger HD and more RAM on the graphics card, but is it worth the extra price? Your sage advice, as always, is greatly appreciated!

God bless,

Matt (and the snoring cat)
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 01:51 AM   #2
gormond
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The 2.4Ghz model is by far better value and here is why:

Good:
Processor is 20% faster
Graphics card is twice as fast (check here http://www.barefeats.com/imacal.html)
28% more HDD Space

Bad:
25% more expensive

Gormond.
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 02:03 AM   #3
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Apple's required specs for HD playback are at least a 2.0 Ghz Intel however that's for full 1080p and the 20" can't play at that full resolution but my point is many of the latest apps require a much beefier processor and it's better to get a computer that exceeds todays apps system requirements. It's best to go for the 2.4 model. What's $300 extra for something you are going to keep for a long time? Also you get a bigger hard drive and better graphics.
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 02:19 AM   #4
redraidermacman
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i agree, all of the combined elements make the 2.4, overall a much better deal.....
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 03:29 AM   #5
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It's worth it for the GPU upgrade, but where did that incorrect figure of the 2.4 being 20% faster come from?????

More like 3% - 7%
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 03:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexisV View Post
It's worth it for the GPU upgrade, but where did that incorrect figure of the 2.4 being 20% faster come from?????

More like 3% - 7%
He seems to be talking about pure clock speed. 2.4 is 20% higher than 2.0 ghz. How much extra speed that turns into in real world usage is probably less, but its no insignificant either. its still a 20% increase in clock speed.
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 03:39 AM   #7
gormond
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Originally Posted by AlexisV View Post
It's worth it for the GPU upgrade, but where did that incorrect figure of the 2.4 being 20% faster come from?????

More like 3% - 7%
2.0 / 100 = 0.02 (or 1% of 2.0Ghz)
2.4 / 0.02 = 120%

So a 2.4Ghz processor has 20% more clock cycles than a 2.0Ghz

http://www.barefeats.com/imacal2.html - Cinebench CPU Benchmark:

2.0Ghz - 4100
2.4Ghz - 4911

Using same calculating method you also get 20% faster
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 03:52 AM   #8
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Thank you so much for your advice...all of you concur that I should be getting the 2.4GHz iMac. The BareFeats analysis was very revealing indeed. I can't believe the 2.33GHz iMac had the fastest framerates on all games tested, even under Windows. What the...? But yes, for real world tasks, yes, the 2.4 version is the fastest. One can only hope the drivers for the new graphics cards are refined...a heck of a lot. I was looking forward to playing Return to Castle Wolfenstein! So, while I'm here, what's your take on the graphics card woes? Are those of us who have purchased this piece of technological wonderment doomed?

God bless,

Matt
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 03:54 AM   #9
gormond
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Originally Posted by Moo-Boo View Post
Are those of us who have purchased this piece of technological wonderment doomed?
Just like any new graphics card, the card in the new macs have very unrefined drivers, I reckon with good drivers we will see a 30% speed increase.
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 09:27 AM   #10
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I say save some money and get the base model. The fact of the matter is that 2.4 versus 2.0 is not worth $300.00, nor is the extra HD space. The GPU difference will only matter for serious gaming, but for serious gaming both these cards are inadequate, so why waste money?
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 09:34 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jimmdean View Post
I say save some money and get the base model. The fact of the matter is that 2.4 versus 2.0 is not worth $300.00, nor is the extra HD space. The GPU difference will only matter for serious gaming, but for serious gaming both these cards are inadequate, so why waste money?
What do you class as serious gaming? I class modern chart games as serious gaming and the most recent I have played is Bio Shock which works fine on the ATI 2600, I doubt it would work that well on a ATI 2400.
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 09:46 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by gormond View Post
What do you class as serious gaming? I class modern chart games as serious gaming and the most recent I have played is Bio Shock which works fine on the ATI 2600, I doubt it would work that well on a ATI 2400.
Company of Heroes, Stalker, ES IV, Prey, etc. (at native resolutions)
+ everything soon to release

Serious gamers will not be satisfied with "works fine"


Personally I'm in the "works fine" camp as I only really play BF 2142, which the 2400 is handling very well...
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 09:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jimmdean View Post
Serious gamers will not be satisfied with "works fine"
Ok wrong choice of word, with current drivers Bio Shock gets an average 32 FPS at high detail with the 2600 , which I would say is great and as the drivers improve it will only get better,

The ATI 2400 would get about half that, and therefor be unplayable at high detail.
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 10:15 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by gormond View Post
Ok wrong choice of word, with current drivers Bio Shock gets an average 32 FPS at high detail with the 2600 , which I would say is great and as the drivers improve it will only get better,

The ATI 2400 would get about half that, and therefor be unplayable at high detail.

Bioshock is probably not the best example. Unless you have very high-end hardware (i.e. 8800) you're better off with the 360 version. UT3 and ETQW will be better benchmarks of what these cards are capable of...
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 10:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jimmdean View Post
Bioshock is probably not the best example. Unless you have very high-end hardware (i.e. 8800) you're better off with the 360 version. UT3 and ETQW will be better benchmarks of what these cards are capable of...
Doesn't Bioshock use the UT3 Game Engine ?
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 10:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by gormond View Post
Doesn't Bioshock use the UT3 Game Engine ?
I think it does, but since it's not the heavy UT-type multiplayer game things are a little different...


Edit:
They recommend a 512MB-GPU for this game - ridiculous!!!


Anyway, back to the thread, I recommend the base model plus a Wii - this is a Nintendo Christmas!!!

Last edited by Jimmdean; Sep 25, 2007 at 10:33 AM.
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Old Sep 26, 2007, 12:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmdean View Post
I think it does, but since it's not the heavy UT-type multiplayer game things are a little different...


Edit:
They recommend a 512MB-GPU for this game - ridiculous!!!


Anyway, back to the thread, I recommend the base model plus a Wii - this is a Nintendo Christmas!!!
You make a very good argument. Games consoles though, nah, I went through that phase and came out unsatisfied. But that's just me. They're nifty pieces of entertainment hardware and will keep getting better and better. With Macs, you have the power to create as well as play. Saving money is always good. I'd love to put an 80cc engine on a BMX bike for example, but I digress...

Thanks for your excellent input,

Matt
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Old Sep 26, 2007, 08:51 AM   #18
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2.0 / 100 = 0.02 (or 1% of 2.0Ghz)
2.4 / 0.02 = 120%

So a 2.4Ghz processor has 20% more clock cycles than a 2.0Ghz

http://www.barefeats.com/imacal2.html - Cinebench CPU Benchmark:

2.0Ghz - 4100
2.4Ghz - 4911

Using same calculating method you also get 20% faster
Ever heard of the megahertz myth?

You should find that very few tasks will actually be 20% faster in real life.

You've quoted synthetic scores there.
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Old Sep 26, 2007, 09:04 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by AlexisV View Post
Ever heard of the megahertz myth?
Mhz is a good way of comparing the same processor, its terrible if you use it to compare a P4 and C2D but that wasn't what I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexisV View Post
You should find that very few tasks will actually be 20% faster in real life.

You've quoted synthetic scores there.
That's because most tasks on a computer depend on a combination of components where as these synthetic CPU tests are just for testing the CPU.

Look at the photoshop CS3 test here - http://www.barefeats.com/imacal4.html

This is how long it takes the computer to preform 6MP actions (lower is better)
2.0 Ghz - 207 Second
2.4 Ghz - 159 Seconds

Yet again the 2.4Ghz is fairly faster.
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Old Sep 26, 2007, 09:09 AM   #20
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Ever heard of the megahertz myth?
The Mhz myth refers to the futility of comparing clock speeds across processors, not to comparing 2 different clock speeds of the same processor. As long as its a task that is processor-bound, the 2.4 Ghz C2D will in fact be about 20% faster than a 2.0 Ghz C2D.
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 10:13 AM   #21
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over many weeks i have read many threads as i am purchasing a new light production printer and will add to my loan for this beast (km650) enough for a couple of (new?) workstations for our production/designers/prepress staff. we print entertainment posters, flyers etc both digital & offset, press ads etc mainly cs2 but i will also upgrade to cs3. they have between 2 & 4gb ram

presently we are using a dual 1.8 G5 tower, a single 1.6 g5 tower and a dual1ghz g4 qs all on adc 20" lcds

so i reckon i should replace these with (as in 18mths time they will be handed down to office staff), a white imac 24", a alum20"cheapy (is this adequate to run an external 20"?) and hold back til mwsfranciso for the other

we are not a lucrative advertising agency with endless petty cash, i try to get good bang for buck

any reason why the cheapy 20" imac with a an older apple acd 20" lcd should not be ok for prepress work with 4gb? - speed wise its still a huge improvement on the dual g5/single g5

all opinions appreciated
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 10:54 AM   #22
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over many weeks i have read many threads as i am purchasing a new light production printer and will add to my loan for this beast (km650) enough for a couple of (new?) workstations for our production/designers/prepress staff. we print entertainment posters, flyers etc both digital & offset, press ads etc mainly cs2 but i will also upgrade to cs3. they have between 2 & 4gb ram

presently we are using a dual 1.8 G5 tower, a single 1.6 g5 tower and a dual1ghz g4 qs all on adc 20" lcds

so i reckon i should replace these with (as in 18mths time they will be handed down to office staff), a white imac 24", a alum20"cheapy (is this adequate to run an external 20"?) and hold back til mwsfranciso for the other

we are not a lucrative advertising agency with endless petty cash, i try to get good bang for buck

any reason why the cheapy 20" imac with a an older apple acd 20" lcd should not be ok for prepress work with 4gb? - speed wise its still a huge improvement on the dual g5/single g5

all opinions appreciated
There is no reason at all it shouldn't be sufficient. The graphics card will be fine as long as you are doing mostly 2D. I know of a few design/pre-press shops that historically used PowerMacs, but today they mostly use Intel iMacs. The problem wasn't that they couldn't afford Mac Pros—it's just that you don't really need a Quad-Core Xeon for most pre-press work.

I'm finding myself in a similar situation when it comes to working with audio. I can't remember the last time I was CPU-limited in Logic (well, actually I can, but it was back in the G4 days). Everything I want to do with audio I can now do in real-time (or close enough). It has gotten to the point where for some types of tasks, the latest and greatest CPU just isn't necessary. 3D and video rendering are one of the last frontiers where we still need drastic improvements. Once those tasks can be done entirely in real-time (real-time raytracing, for example), the advanced semiconductor industry is going to have to find some other reason to convince us all to upgrade.

Of course, poorly written bloatware might do that for them...
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 10:56 AM   #23
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Stay away from the 2.4GHz 20" until the freezing issue is fixed by Apple/ATI.
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 02:16 PM   #24
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wat speed processors do you think the new macbooks will have. 2.0ghz? 2.2ghz? 2.4ghz?. Aren't desktops meant to be more powerful than their laptop equivalents?
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 02:58 PM   #25
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Stay away from the 2.4GHz 20" until the freezing issue is fixed by Apple/ATI.
I thought the freezing issue was only on the 24".
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